Balnakeil Church

Balnakeil Church

There is a large loop of road and the Church sits just back off of this. Balnakeil Church Founded in 722 by St. Maelrubha, the present building dates from 1619. Inside the ruined building can be found the grave of a notorious villain, Domhnuall MacMhurchadh. There are a number of interesting 18th and 19th century gravestones, notably the large stone to the Andersons of Keoldale The raised area to the south is the massed grave of the victims of the "Canton", an emigrant ship which sank with the loss of all lives off Faraid Head in 1849.

The impressive monument is in memory of Rob Donn Calder or Mackay, a noted Gaelic poet. known as "the Robert Burns" of Gaeldom. It was erected in 1827 and is engraved with the following tribute in Gaelic, English, Latin, and Greek. ''This tomb was erected at the expense of a few of his countrymen. Ardent admirers of his native talent and extraordinary genius. 1827'' Rob Donn composed Gaelic songs and poems of such purity the illiterate unlettered genius's work was adopted by the Gaelic Department of Glasgow University as one of their textbooks.

Services are on Sunday at 12:15pm
Visitors Welcome.
Balnakeil church, durness sutherland


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